If preseason is any indication of what these next three months hold, then women’s soccer has great things in store. These last few weeks have been trying, but telling. For our first practice as a Division I team we headed to the track to run the dreaded cooper. In years past those who didn’t finish the seven lap run in twelve minutes always outnumbered those who did. At the end of last spring season we were challenged by the coaching staff to dedicate ourselves to training and preparing ourselves for the most difficult season any of us will ever experience. Having competed closely with the University of Washington, University of Oregon and Oregon State University, we were all hungry to prove ourselves as dynamic D1 athletes. For the first year in my career (and I’ve had five), a group of us met nearly every weekday at 7 a.m. to run at Championship Field. Our training packet, put together by goalkeeper coach Aron Hyde, was the most grueling regimen any of us had ever done. But as we cruised across the finish line at the track, it was apparent we had put in the work. Three girls passed for the first time, nearly all the inexperienced freshman passed, and in total, twice as many people finished the race under twelve minutes than those who didn’t!
UPDATE: Seattle U Women win their opener 2-1 at Weber State
We couldn’t have started the season on a better note; clearly everyone was feeling fit and ready to compete. The next nine days flew by in a blur of fitness tests, ice baths, naps, practices, team dinners, catching a few Olympic events, and passing out in bed. We pushed ourselves, we pushed each other, and when we couldn’t push anymore, our coaches gave us the extra shove. And though our muscles throbbed, our joints ached and our bodies felt fatigued, we all kept in remarkably good health. Much of this we all attribute to our new assistant coach Rich’s dynamic warm-up. A mix of running and agility stretching has proven very helpful in preparing our bodies for training and protecting them from injury. This is definitely just the beginning to a new and improved SU women’s soccer team.
All of us are aware of the significance of this first D1 season. We need to prove to the school, the NCAA, our coaches and ourselves that we are D1 athletes. Julie has put together a great schedule and the task won’t be easy. 15 of 20 games will be on the road, all against unfamiliar opponents. We’ll travel 15,000 miles by air and spend countless hours in airports, rental car offices, and minivans. We’ll miss our beds, our families, our classes, and our kitchens. Without the hope of a postseason, we’re playing for nothing but pride and the future of SU athletics. But for us, especially the seniors, there’s nothing else we’d rather be doing. We love this game, we enjoy the responsibility on our shoulders, and the adversity only adds fuel to the fire. There’s no doubt about it, we’re playing D1 this year, and we’re playing to win.
Follow the Redhawks' season at GoSeattleU.com.